The Future is Now! (Trends and Technologies in Supply Chains, Manufacturing, Sourcing, Retailing, and Shopping)

Time and Location: 10:45am - 12:15pm, HQ Raleigh

Technologies have advanced and now more industries than ever are shifting to digital supply chain strategies.  And that includes the ability to ship products before they are manufactured – because it is more efficient, more flexible, more sustainable, and more profitable.  Just as important is delivering merchandise that consumers want as the product development cycle becomes a continuous process.

The advancements in technology have allowed consumers to use the internet and smart phones to “shop” before they buy.  They still buy mostly in brick and mortar stores, but they shop in many different ways.  And, with the combination of personal avatars and QR codes, even shopping in the stores is changing.

Shoppers will be able to use their personal avatars, generated from a body scan, to shop in the store on an interactive mirror or at home through cloud computing.  Digital styling advice will be given to recommend colors based on skin tones and styles based on 3D shape analysis.  Other recommendations such as hair style, finger nail length, and accessories are also available.

Rising labor costs and rising transportation costs have also caused U.S. Brands and Retailers to begin rethinking their Sourcing strategies.   Re-Shoring, Near Shoring, and Back Shoring are terms being used to describe the shift that is taking place.  With the return of manufacturing to the Western hemisphere, a renewed interest in robotics and factory automation is also impacting the design of the facilities that will be producing garments and related textile products.  And, “Additive” is the new buzz in advanced manufacturing systems.

The key is adopting the right supply chain strategy, implementing the appropriate technologies and logistics, and changing the thinking of management and workers.  Systems are already available that allow products to be created, sold, marketed, and delivered in digital form.  Attend this presentation shows how such technologies as virtual dressing, waterless dyeing, 3D printing, and Robotic automation will play an important role in the movement towards a more sustainable supply chain for the fashion industry.    

Speaker: Dr. Mike Fralix, [TC]²